King's Cup - 1930

  • John, Caspar

      Lieut Caspar John, RN

      1930, aged 27


    Son of Augustus (the artist and well-known pacifist); mother died when he was 3; later became Admiral of the entire Fleet, which must have gone down well with his dad.

    d. 1984.


  • Kidston, George Pearson Glen

      Lieut-Comm George Pearson Glen Kidston, RN

     mini_-_glen_kidston.jpg photo: 1928, aged 29



    Known as Glen. Survived being torpedoed in WWI on the cruiser 'Hague', had several narrow escapes when motor racing, and in November 1929, he was the only survivor when Junkers tri-motor D-903 crashed near Caterham and caught fire. He "escaped through a hole in the side of the aeroplane almost immediately after it struck the ground, and Prince Eugen [zu Schaumburg-Lippe] fought his way out a little later; but by the time would-be rescuers had arrived there was no hope of saving the others." The Prince died the following day.

    Glen spent the winter abroad, then in May 1930, his widowed mother having died, put his house up for sale; Nyn Park, Northaw, near Potters Bar, "nearly a square mile with a small mansion". And a lake.

    And a 9-hole golf course. Oh, and 25 cottages. A few smallholdings....

    In April 1931 he and Owen Cathcart Jones broke the England to Capetown record, but shortly afterwards (5 May) he was killed in the Drakensburg Mountains, Natal; the aircraft he had borrowed, while his Vega was being overhauled, broke up in mid-air during a storm.

    Nyn Park was sold, and the estate broken up. The small (23-bedroom) mansion was bought after WWII by the Alexandra Hospital for Children but never used, and burned down in 1963.


  • Leech, Haliburton Hume

      P/O (later F/O, Flt Lt) Haliburton Hume Leech


    photo: 1926, aged 18



    Haliburton H Leech was born 16 Apr 1908, in Wylam-on-Tyne, Northumberland. He competed in 6 King’s Cup races – every year from 1929 to 1934.

    His father, Dr. (later Sir) Joseph William Leech, J. P., was the Sheriff of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and later its M.P.; at the time they lived in Wylam Hall, which according to English Heritage is a vast “rambling house built in the 15th century with 18th-19th century alterations, since divided into 3 apartments”. Haliburton was the youngest of 3 sons.

    He went to Harrow from 1922 to 1925, then gained his Royal Aero Club Certificate (No 7993) at Cramlington with the Newcastle-on-Tyne Aero Club, flying a D.H. Moth, on the 10 Apr 1926.


    In 1931, Flight described him thus:

    “… a well-known figure at flying meetings, as his aerobatic demonstrations in the Martlet are always amongst the prettiest to be seen.

    He entered Cranwell as a cadet in 1925, finally leaving there and being posted to Tangmere in 1927.  

    He was promoted to Flying Officer in July 1929, and in 1930 went to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough, and has since been engaged on a great deal of test work, flying a large variety of machines.

    This year he was selected as one of the members to join the High Speed Flight at Felixstowe preparatory to receiving his training to take part in the forthcoming Schneider Trophy Race, but, much to his disappointment, he was later sent back to Farnborough, as it was found that there were too many pilots in the flight.

    F/O. Leech has raced on numerous occasions in light aircraft, and is always consistent.”


    However, during one such aerobatic demonstration, one cynic pointed out that "After all it does not matter if he does crash, as his father is a doctor!”

    In 1932, he piloted the Royal Aircraft Establishment’s Scarab (a parasol-wing modification of the D.H. 53 Humming Bird) on its first flight.

    He was posted to the School of Naval Co-operation, Lee-on-the-Solent, on the 1st March 1934, then (as a Flight Lieutentant)  to No. 824 (F.S.R.) Squadron, Upavon, on the 8th October 1934.

    Here he is (with a bandaged left hand) with Leslie Runciman, 'C.C', and Connie Leathart, amongst others

    He was best man at his elder brother Basil's wedding to Grace Luckham in September 1937, then married Miss Ruth Janet Chernocke Elliott (the younger daughter of Mr and Mrs A E Elliott of Little Hill, Bromeswell, Woodbridge) at Eyke Church, Suffolk on 9th October 1937. The happy couple then left by air, from Martlesham, 'for abroad'.

    He died 5th May 1939, in St Bartholomews Hospital, when he was only 31 - I don't know why, I'm afraid. Perhaps it was as a result of a flying accident, or perhaps natural causes. Unusually, 'Flight Magazine', who carried innumerable references to his flying displays, carried no news of his death - normally they would have produced a short obituary of someone so well-known in aviation circles.

    His gravestone (with thanks to the Gravestone Photographic Resource) is in Eyke Church:

     "To the beloved and wonderful memory of Haliburton Hume Leech".

    His father, Sir Joseph, died a year later.

    Ruth married a Mr Foster in 1940 and died in 1986 in Ipswich; she was referred to as 'Ruth Janet C Lady Foster'.

    He competed in loads of air pageants and races throughout the 30s, including:

    - The Kingston-upon-Hull Air Race, at the Hull Air Pageant  which was held to celebrate the opening of the Hull Aero Club clubhouse in April 1930.

    The 7 entrants were Leech (flying "Miss Perry's D.H. Moth G-AASG" *); Winnie Brown flying her Avian G-EBVZ; Winifred Spooner in her D.H. Moth G-AALK; Ivor Thompson (D.H. Moth G-AACL); Alfred Jackaman (D.H. Moth G-AADX); Robert Cazalet in his Westland Widgeon G-EBRM, and Capt G Thorne in Avro Avian G-AAHJ.

    Leech finished first but was disqualified for ‘not turning at one of the marks’.


    * Miss Violet Perry (seen here), who flew at the Berks Bucks and Oxon Club, is not listed as the owner of G-AASG, though; it apparently belonged to 'Miss M Shillington'.

    September 25, 1932 saw him coming 3rd in the Yorkshire Trophy Race - "175 and a half miles over two triangular circuits" in the Arrow Active, behind Edgar Percival in a Gull, and Col. Louis Arbon Strange in his Spartan.

    Later, "F/O. Leech gave one of his thrilling, if not hair-raising, displays on the Arrow Active."

     In July 1933 he was in the Cinque Ports Wakelfield Cup Race; coming 3rd in a Pobjoy-engined Comper Swift.

    A few weeks later (12 August 1933), he put up the fastest time in the London to Newcastle Race in Richard Shuttleworth's Gypsy-engined Comper Swift G-ABWW, but ended up 5th (of 10) on handicap. He received a cheque for £10 for his effort; the 166.09 mph was "the highest registered speed obtained on any British light aircraft" at the time.

    In July 1937, he was one of 15 competitors in the Devon Air Race (which also included Alex Henshaw, Connie Leathart, Tommy Rose and Geoffrey de Havilland). He came 3rd, in a Spartan Arrow.

    In the King’s Cup:

    1 - G-EAUM (1929)

    This aircraft was a real-old-timer, an Avro 534 ‘Baby’, first registered in July 1920. Squadron Leader Harold Payn had raced it in 1922, and R. A. Whitehead (who sold it to Leech) in 1928. Leech, in turn, sold the aircraft to H.R.A. Edwards, and it was finally withdrawn from use in November 1934.

    2 - G-AALK (1930)

    This D.H.60G Gipsy Moth was almost new (first registered August 1929), and belonged to the Household Brigade Flying Club at Hanworth. It was flown by Squadron Leader the Hon. Frederick E Guest in the 1931 race, then went to Wrightson Air Hire, but crashed at Shackend Railway Station near Hawick in April 1937.

    3 - G-ABIF (1931)

    This Southern Martlet 205 had only been registered in January 1931, and belonged to Miss J Forbes-Robinson. Theodore C Sanders flew it in the 1933 King’s Cup race. It was withdrawn from use in 1940, but went to the ATC during WWII, until it was finally cancelled in December 1945.

    4 - G-ABVE (1932, 1933)

    G-ABVE was the only Arrow Active II ever built, registered in March 1932 to Arrow Aircraft Ltd of Yeading, Leeds. Leech flew this aircraft in the 1932 and 1933 races, achieving 137mph.

    In an extraordinary link with MacRobertson aviator Geoffrey Shaw, they were together in July, 1932:

    "Six members joined the Yorkshire Aeroplane Club during June, amongst them being Mr. Geoffrey Shaw and Mr. A. C. Thornton. The latter is the designer of the" Arrow Active," and his latest production, the "Active II" has been much in evidence, being tested by F/O.H. H. Leech."

    After the race, it was stored at Yeading until 1957 before being completely renovated in 1958, with the installation of a 145-hp Gipsy Major engine. It survives, and is now in the Real Aeroplane Collection at Breighton Aerodrome, Selby, Yorks.

    5 - G-ACUP (1934)

    Unfortunately, the registration of this brand-new Percival D.3 ‘Gull Six’ did not prove prophetic; Leech only managed fifth in the heats, despite averaging 160mph. The Gull went on to re-appear in the Kings’ Cup in 1938, flown by H Thomas-Ferrand, and was then sold in Australia in May 1939.


    Haliburton Hume Leech - Wikipedia


  • Marshall, Arthur Gregory George

      Mr Arthur Gregory George Marshall


    photo: 1928, aged 25


     Sir Arthur, the engineer who founded Marshalls of Cambridge; 'Chariots of Fire' Olympic athlete; died 2007 (sad, but then he was 103)


  • Maxwell, Ian Simon Joseph Constable

      Capt Ian Simon Joseph Constable Maxwell

      1929, aged 38



    a 'Merchant'. Address c/o the Naval and Military Club, London


  • McKenna, John Francis Xavier

      F/O John Francis Xavier McKenna AFC

      1930, aged 24



    b c.1906. From Porton, Wilts.

    B.Sc. F.R.Ae.S.

    AFC in January 1939 as Sqn Ldr

    Killed in WWII: 19th January 1945, when a Group Captain RAF; buried Durrington, Wilts.


  • Miles, Frederick George

      Mr Frederick George Miles

      1930, aged 27



    Brilliant aircraft designer, and... biro manufacturer. Taught to fly by (and formed the Southern Aircraft company with) Cecil Pashley.

    The story of the Miles Aircraft Company is being put together here:



  • Mortimer, A G

      Mr A G Mortimer





  • Muntz, Frederick Alan Irving

      Frederick 'Alan' Irving Muntz




    b. 7 Jun 1899

    Co-founded Airwork Ltd with Nigel Norman in 1928; this company was instrumental in opening Heston Aerodrome the following year.

    Married 3 times; firstly to Mary [Harnett] with whom he had 3 children, then in 1934 to Lady Margaret Frances Anne Vane-Tempest-Stewart (1910–1966), daughter of the 7th Marquess of Londonderry and then, in 1948, Marjorie Mary Helena Strickland.

    d. 7 Mar 1985


  • Napier, Carill Stanley

      Mr Carill Stanley Napier

       1937, aged 30



    b. 29 Apr 1907 From Putney, London

    Son of the famous engine-maker Montague; an apprentice with Westlands in 1929. 'his one recreation apart from flying is the commendable indoor sport of darts. Believes that air-racing is good fun only when taken not too seriously''

    Killed in WWII: 29 April 1941, when a First Officer in the Air Transport Auxiliary; buried RAF Halton, Bucks.


  • Naylor, Thomas Humphrey

      Mr Thomas Humphrey Naylor

      1928, aged 38



    Director of Royal Insurance; in 1950 High Sheriff of Cheshire; died 1966


  • Norman, Henry Nigel St Valery

     Sir Henry Nigel St Valery Norman CBE





    b. c.1898. From Rendcomb, Glos.

    Always known as Nigel; from 1939, 2nd Baronet of Honeyhanger, later Air Commodore Sir Nigel. Co-founded Airwork Services with Alan Muntz at Heston.

      The Bystander Special Aviation Edition, 1933

    Killed in WWII: 19th May 1943, on a flight from St Mawgan, buried Rendcomb, Glos.

    Nigel Norman - Wikipedia


  • Oliver, John

      Flt-Lt John Oliver





  • Orlebar, Augustus Henry

      Sqn-Ldr Augustus Henry Orlebar CBE, AFC and bar


    photo: 1929



    b. c.1897. From Podington, Northants.

    Schneider Trophy pilot (and World Air Speed Record Holder) in 1929, Director of Flying Training in WWII;

    d. 4th April 1943 from natural causes.


  • Parker, Ian Robertson

      Mr Ian Robertson Parker

      1929, aged 27



    a Sugar Planter and Merchant from Liverpool;

    RAF Wing Commander in WWII (Digby Section in 1940); Group Captain AAF from 1946;

    d. 1959 and is buried on the Isle of Wee Cumbrae, Ayrshire, Scotland


  • Pennington, G A

      Capt G A Pennington



  • Percival, Capt Edgar Wikner

      Capt Edgar Wikner Percival

      1930, aged 32



    Australian aeronautical genius who ended up in the USA and New Zealand, via Luton.

    b. 23 Feb 1897 in Albury, N.S.W. In 1915, while training in England, he became only the third person on record to recover from a spin (supposedly, Fred Raynham [q.v.] was the first). He later wrote: "After that I found that spinning was great fun and spun a Bristol Scout the next day. Very much later, on the Western Front, I found a spin was a very speedy way of dropping on the enemy - especially through a handy cloud."

    Designer, and pilot, of some of the finest racing and record-breaking aeroplanes of all time.

    "He always flies his rakish Mew Gulls in a soft felt hat and tries to look as much unlike an intrepid birdman as possible, though he has never yet deceived the handicappers by this ruse." 

      King's Cup 1934; sans trilby, for once

    Flight said he "has an uncanny navigational sense in thick weather, but sometimes flies pensively past his destination in 100-mile visibility".

    Michael Madigan wrote: "It was very difficult to resist his puckish humour and not to fall under his spell... In his early flying days he had a fox-terrier called Ginger Mick. This dog always sat in the [open] rear cockpit tethered to a spar. One day as Edgar was preparing to land he went into a loop to lose height, forgetting about his passenger. After levelling off he heard strange scrabbling noises from the back and looking out saw Ginger Mick frantically dog-paddling in the air suspended by his lead. Edgar managed to manoevre Ginger back into the plane, and after landing he thought he would never see Ginger Mick again as he rushed off, but Ginger was as persistent an aviator as his master and reappeared, to settle in his place at start-up, large as life, and eager for more."

     In 1956, with the EP.9 'Prospector'. And trilby.

    © The Royal Aero Club


    d. 21 Jan 1984; his ashes were taken by the RAAF "to be scattered in the very field in Richmond, N.S.,W., where it all began."

    "Edgar Percival had a strong character, a high mental and moral sense, and was a perfectionist - the qualities which made him successful. He was the dominant presence which compelled attention in a group. This dominance arose from his vast knowledge of aviation in all its aspects... all this and his strength of will did not make him an easy associate. He could see problems clearly, had the energy to solve them, and drove himself relentlessly, which made him rather intolerant of those less gifted."

    (All quotes via Martin Barraclough, for which many thanks)


  • Pickthorn, Charles Edward Murray

      Mr Charles Edward Murray Pickthorn

      1928, aged 32



    a 'Dealer' from London; WWI ace (5 victories, one shared with James Robb).

    Attempted an England-Australia flight in 1930 with F/O. C. J. Chabot on a D.H. "Puss Moth"; left Croydon October 6, but abandoned the flight in Karachi on October 13.

    died 1938


  • Pope, R P P

      Flt-Lt R P P Pope




    Chief Instructor with Air Service Training


  • Presto, H A

      Mr H A Presto (or Oresto)



    Pseudonym ("Hey Presto" ??)


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